Conformational Differences Unfold a Wide Range of Enterotoxigenic Abilities Exhibited by rNSP4 Peptides from Different Rotavirus Strains

Narayan P Sastri 1, Kiranmayee Pamidimukkala 1, Jagannath R Marathahalli 1, Suguna Kaza 2, C. Durga Rao*, 1
1 Department of Microbiology & Cell Biology
2 Molecular Biophysics Unit, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India

© Sastri et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

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* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Microbiology & Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India; Fax: 91-80-23602697; E-mail:


NSP4 has been recognized as the rotavirus-encoded enterotoxin. However, a few studies failed to support its diarrheagenic activity. As recombinant NSP4 (rNSP4) peptides of different lengths were used in the limited number of studies, a comparison of relative diarrheagenic potential of NSP4 from different strains could not be possible. To better understand the diarrheagenic potential of NSP4 from different strains, in this report we have evaluated the enterotoxigenic activity of the deletion mutant ΔN72 that lacks the N-terminal 72 residues and the biologically relevant ΔN112 peptide which when derived from SA11 rotavirus strain were previously shown to be highly diarrheagenic in newborn mice. Detailed comparative analysis of biochemical and biophysical properties and diarrheagenic activity of the recombinant ΔN72 peptides from seventeen different strains under identical conditions revealed wide differences among themselves in their resistance to trypsin cleavage, thioflavin T (ThT) binding, multimerization and conformation without any correlation with their diarrhea inducing abilities. These results support our previously proposed concept for the requirement of a unique conformation for optimal biological functions conferred by cooperation between the N- and C-terminal regions of the cytoplasmic tail.

Keywords: Rotavirus diarrhea, thioflavin T, diarrheal dose 50 (DD50), nonstructural protein 4, NSP4, virulence, multimerization, viral enterotoxin..